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Pocan Introduces Defense Amendment to Invest in Clean Energy Technology

Jul 23, 2013
Press Release
Advanced batteries reduce dependence on foreign oil & increase national security

WASHINGTON—U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) today introduced an amendment to the Department of Defense funding bill to make key investments in clean energy technologies that are critical to current and future military missions. Pocan’s efforts would support research and development to improve the safety of advanced batteries, and specifically lithium ion batteries, required for many of the Navy’s new capabilities. Lithium ion batteries, which contain no toxic chemicals, have up to three times the performance capabilities of other battery products.

After securing commitments from committee leadership on the House floor to continue to work on ways to support these vital new technologies, Pocan withdrew his provision. 

“Investing in clean energy technologies is good environmental policy, good economic policy, and good national security policy,” Pocan said. “Advanced batteries such as those used by the Navy are not only more efficient and powerful, they also produce high quality American jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and improve our abilities to respond to emerging threats,” Pocan said. “By supporting further research into these new advancements, we can ensure these technologies are as safe and effective as possible.”

Many of the Navy’s newest systems require the type of increased energy capacities that lithium ion batteries provide. But current lithium-ion batteries can cause violent fires with extreme smoke and high temperatures that are potentially catastrophic, especially on ships. While scientists have advanced new technologies that can greatly increase the safety of these batteries, they require additional research, development and testing. Pocan’s provision would provide the necessary support to promote the development of more effective and safe advanced batteries.